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Breathe Magazine – Issue 43


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Shooting stars – Lives less ordinary – Look who’s talking – What’s in a name? – Green shoots of recovery – Notes on a conversation – Try, try again – Born this way – To everything there is a season – Everlasting flame

Common in surveys and marketing research, the 10-point rating scale is often used to measure satisfaction with products, performance and places. Think electrical goods, politicians and tourist hotspots. But what about less tangible personal qualities? Is it helpful, for example, to measure kindness, generosity or confidence on a scale of one to 10?

The answer, like most things – including personality traits – is nuanced. Take confidence. Some might claim their allocation is so low that it doesn’t even register on the scale, while others will go high-end with a happy 10. Yet on any given day, confidence levels might drop from the top to the bottom (and back again) or waver in-between depending on factors such as sleep deprivation, familiarity with a task or changes in routine.

Sometimes it’s just that those confident 10s are masters of putting to one side any moments of self-doubt and pressing ahead, believing they still have every chance of success. But it’s also helpful to recognise that confidence comes from within. It’s innate. And that means it’s always there, whether it’s riding high, refusing to budge above mid-scale mediocrity or threatening to slide out of view. Most importantly, it doesn’t need external recognition or acknowledgement.

Armed with this knowledge, it’s possible to see confidence afresh and appreciate its complexities. It isn’t necessary, after all, to have a surfeit of self-belief to work hard and achieve goals, just as an expectation of success won’t rule out setbacks or failure.

The key is to recognise that everyone has potential – you have potential – and in the big picture, that’s worth a whopping 10.

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